The Cramps 1979-08-XX CBGBs, New York (FM)
New York City
Happy Halloween to You all! Here's my little gift to Cramps fans and Rock'n'roll fans around the world today. Stay Sick!!!
Here's the story behind this show. About 18-24 months ago, I got a set of tapes from someone, a ton of Cramps shows most of which I hadn't seen or heard yet. It was a goldmine of goodies, let me tell you. As I was coming near the end of transferring them to cd-r/WAV format, I came across this one, I think it shared the same tape with a Talking Heads show. Little did I know what I would find inside.......
I was a little disappointed, reading it was only five songs, but happy in that it was a FM broadcast, and featuring Bryan still in the band. Also, at a pivotal point in their early career too -- 1979 was spent touring with The Police (Ugh, yuck...), Talking Heads and Iggy Pop, and really trying to boost their name as they were getting ready their first LP, Songs The Lord Taughts Us, for IRS (released in 1980).
The tape began to play, the band strums a little, a DJ introduces the show, Lux says "I hope we're not interupting anything out here this evening. Seems awful quiet. I don't want to interupt any of you students out there if you're studying or anything. But let's get some rock'n'roll done!" and the short set kicks off...to my amazement, it was a long lost legendary song, one that was only talked about but no one that I've run into could actually claim they'd ever heard. Entitled "The Band That Forgot", it's truly a lost classic that The Cramps didn't play for too long. And it's simply wonderful! It captures The Cramps doing what they do best, taking the music from an older song (in this case, "Whistle Bait" by the Collins Kids) and adding their own primitive twist on it. It's short, but so totally sweet, oozing with that totally unique Cramps sound...two guitars, strumming away, Nick Knox pounding on the skins, somehow turning a basic drumbeat into something otherworldly. A short but strong guitar solo, Lux in perfect form. I don't know how this song never made it out. Perhaps one day, Lux & Ivy will open their secret vault of recordings and share it with us. But for now, here you go.
After that tune, they could've started playing "MacArthur's Park", I could've cared less! I had found the Holy Grail of Crampdom, a lost, fabled song! And here it was...in my grubby little clawed hands. They go on to blast thru four more songs -- "Twist & Shout", "The Way I Walk", "Domino", and "Human Fly" as the capper. These tracks are all killer too, strongly recorded and bursting with their truly special caveman sound (that of course, were copied later on by a few bands that would go on to become big time stars). I'll let the remaining tracks talk for themselves. Just listen to the guitars on "Human Fly" -- you'll hear what I mean.
There I sat, in complete awe of what was coming out of my tape deck. "What do I do with it?" I wondered. I sent it to a couple of people close to me, that I knew I could trust with keeping it under their hats for now. I decided to do what I thought was right -- I would try to contact Lux & Ivy to see if they even had it in their possession. I figured this was unlikely; however, it was known that they had even lost or never had things they did before (such as the Human Fly video/film they had made, but recently came across a few years ago). I tried, fruitlessly, to contact them. Numerous emails through their site, but with no responses. I even tried messaging Harry Drumdini on MySpace, but again, it was a fruitless attempt. I spent over a year trying to get in touch with the band, but to no avail. I even contemplated getting a small amount of vinyl pressed to capture the set and share with friends (which, didn't happen...could not afford it).
Last night I decided it was time to unleash this beast. The Cramps are quiet this year, no shows, taking another year off from playing. I think it's the right thing to do today of all days, The Cramps' favorite holiday, Halloween. When else would it be right to share this but today? They aren't playing in CA right now, so here's the next best thing. Perhaps this New Year's they'll show their pale faces. That being said, I did find they are still around, so to speak (Lux recently sent Tim Lucas, of Video Watchdog, a postcard from Lucas' new tome on Mario Bava, and Tim posted about it at his blog about the book).
So here you all go. A Halloween gift to everyone here that loves the Cramps and high quality rock'n'roll. I hope you all enjoy this. It has been not easy holding on to this, not knowing if I should share it or not. I'd hate to see this show up on eBay or at some record shows down the road. I really hope no one takes advantage of this situation. If I see it online somewhere else, I think this will be it for me on Dimeadozen. I'm trusting a lot of people here, so please, don't sell this. Don't even share it as an mp3. Keep it in its highest form, as a WAV file. Enjoy it. Copy it for true Cramps fans. But, please, please, please, do not take advantage of this forum for sharing.
About this recording:
Unknown lineage, but it sounds really, really good. I'd guess that it's copied from one, maybe two times from the original tape that the broadcast was captured on by a fan. It's really that good, IMO. And I've included two versions of each song here. The ones labeled "new" were played through a Sony tapedeck that "Expanded" the sound, as they can sometimes do. I have no idea what the technological thing is that really does this, but here ya go. Both versions have their advantages, so it's up to you, the listeners, to pick which you like more. I have no idea what FM station this came from, but perhaps someone here can shed some light on the history for us. And, of course, no noise reduction, cuz we like the fuzzzzzz.....
Take care, Happy Halloween, and STAY SICK!!! TURN BLUE!!!
New York City
1-The Band That Time Forgot
2-Twist & Shout
3-The Way I Walk
*this info is based off of Rockndog's Cramps site Tourography: http://www.carrollsweb.com/rockndog/folder/Gigs.htm .